Book Review: “Western Lights” | Andrew Furst

2014 November 3
by Tanya McGinnity


I just finished reading Andrew Furst’s book, “Western Lights” and do have to say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s a collection of short essays that he recently published based on some of the blogging Andrew was doing for the Buddhist Meditation Group at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading.

From his website:

“It speaks about eastern concepts like Karma, Hope, Attachment, and Emptiness from a personal perspective and in terms familiar to Americans. They’re grounded in subject matter familiar to Americans like Politics, Science, Psychology, Heaven, and Nature.”

“Western Lights” covers a lot of ground with each short chapter and it’s a clear and concise read. It delivers snippets of Andrew’s personal perspectives, his background and his teachings. His childhood, Christian background, work and family all present strongly in how they relate to his approach to the Dharma.

It’s a modern, Western take on Buddhism and speaks a bit to various meditation practices that Andrew recommends as well as the practices within the Pure Land tradition of which he is a part of. Don’t let this scare you off. The book is quite accessible. One doesn’t need to be too immersed in the concepts of Buddhism to get something out of it so it’s ideal for those who are looking for a book that covers a bit of everything- kind of like a sample platter. You get a few bites of some tasty morsels and then if interested, you can then go back for the full meal, or in this case – read, study, examine and practice further (I’m still working on several platefuls of karma over here)!

The book is a clear and easy read. It isn’t too philosophical or advanced and perfect for those who are somewhat aware of Buddhist concepts. There’s a moderate smattering of pop-culture references as is de rigueur with today’s Western Buddhist books.

Go visit Andrew’s site now where you can find out more about “Western Lights.”

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  1. Another Great Book Review for Western Lights

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